According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), search engines such as Google only have to delete questionable articles about people from their hit lists if those affected can provide sufficient evidence of obviously false information. The operators are not obliged to investigate this themselves and to approach those affected. This was decided by the sixth civil senate at the Federal Court of Justice on Tuesday. The Karlsruhe judges were guided by a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

In this specific case, it was about a couple from the financial services industry. The plaintiffs wanted several critical articles about their investment model to stop appearing as hits when you search for their names on Google. However, the BGH only agreed with them on the point that no photos with them may be displayed in the hit lists without any context – so-called preview images. (Az. VI ZR 476/18)